Portals of Thay
By By Robert Wiese
The Imperial Portal
The year 922 DR saw the battle of Thazalhar and the liberation of Thay from Mulhorand. But what was Thay like before that? Not very different, actually. Slavery was still common, and the people were largely the same in nationality. Mulhorand had a vast empire at that time that stretched from the River Angol to Lake Mulsantir, and even held Rashemen for a short time. An empire that stretches over 750 miles from its capital to its furthest northern point needs effective communication and transportation to remain united, and the Mulhorandi used magic for these purposes.
One of their accomplishments was the creation of a portal from the capital in Skuld to the imperial capital in Delhumide. This continuously active portal stood 10 feet high and 5 feet wide, and it was set inside a normal-looking doorway. This doorway stood in the cellar of the imperial capital headquarters, and the headquarters were destroyed when the Red Wizards sacked the city. But portals cannot be destroyed so easily, and the portal survives somewhere in the ruins of Delhumide.
Finding it in the ruins requires magic, and even that is an iffy prospect, since so much magic was used to sack the city that it permeates the very stones that remain. Many adventurers have searched the ruins without discovering even that a portal might exist there. The portal is now forgotten, since the current-day Red Wizards were not alive back then.
It is not forgotten in Mulhorand, however. More properly, someone just found it. When the imperial capital was destroyed, the Mulhorandi rulers stopped using the portal, and everyone eventually forgot about it. Recently, an up-and-coming cleric of Anhur found a secret door that led to the portal while exploring the old library. He has brought the portal's existence to the attention of the church, and the leaders of Mulhorand finally see a way to strike at Thay from within, bypassing much of the Thayan military.
To secure this new secret beachhead, the priest-rulers of Mulhorand have sent Anuk-Ibin through the portal. Anuk-Ibin now lives in the ruins of Delhumide and uses magic to disguise his presence when needed. Anuk-Ibin was a thief who converted to the worship of Anhur and rose in the church as he gained wisdom. The head priests saw in him talents for infiltration and clever planning, and so they set him to learning wizardry so that he could impersonate Red Wizards of Thay if needed. He discovered that he has a natural aptitude for wizardry and has perhaps found his true calling at last. He is a very powerful wizard now and happy to serve his god by infiltrating Thay. He dresses like a Red Wizard and even has some tattoos on his shaved head to complete his guise. He is middle-aged and a little on the hefty side, but he fits right in with what one expects a Red Wizard to look like. He has successfully bluffed a couple of adventuring parties while in Delhumide, and even another Red Wizard that came to explore the ruins. Anuk-Ibin is determined to succeed here, which means not only gaining as much intelligence as possible about the Thayan situation but also by preparing the area for the Mulhorandi army to occupy. He has even started making in-roads with the slave underground, though the slaves don't know what to make of him just yet and remain suspicious.
Anuk-Ibin: Male human Rog 2/Clr 5/Wiz 9; CR 16; Medium-size humanoid; HD 2d6+2 plus 5d8+5 plus 9d4+9; hp 77; Init +5; Spd 30 ft.; AC 23, touch 17, flat-footed 18; Atk +8/+3 melee (1d6, quarterstaff), or +13 ranged (1d8/19-20, light crossbow); SA sneak attack +1d6, turn undead 9/day; SQ electricity resistance 5, evasion, traps; AL CG; SV Fort +9, Ref +13, Will +15; Str 11, Dex 21, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 18, Cha 14. Height: 5 ft. 11 in. Weight: 220 lbs.
Skills and Feats: Appraise +8, Balance +7, Bluff +8, Concentration +13, Decipher Script +4, Diplomacy +11, Disguise +11, Escape Artist +10, Gather Information +7, Hide +10, Intimidate +4, Jump +2, Knowledge (local - Thay) +13, Knowledge (religion) +16, Knowledge (the planes) +12, Listen +11, Move Silently +10, Search +7, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +18, Spot +11, Tumble +10; Alertness, Arcane Schooling (wizard), Empower Turning*, Enlarge Spell, Extra Turning, Scribe Scroll, Signature Spell (fireball), Spell Mastery (fireball, mount, summon monster III), Spellcasting Prodigy (wizard).
Evasion (Ex): If exposed to any effect that normally allows a character to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, Anuk-Ibin takes no damage with a successful saving throw.
Cleric Spells Prepared (5/4+1/3+1/2+1; save DC 14 + spell level): 0 -- detect magic (2), light, purify food and drink, resistance; 1st -- command, endure elements, invisibility to undead, protection from evil*, shield of faith; 2nd -- gust of wind*, sound burst, speak with animals, zone of truth; 3rd -- call lightning*, searing light, speak with dead.
*Domain spell. Deity: None. Cleric Domains and Powers: Good Domain -- cast good spells at +1 caster level. Good domain spells he can access are (1st) protection from evil, (2nd) aid, (3rd) magic circle against evil. Storm Domain -- electricity resistance 5. Storm domain spells he can access are (1st) entropic shield, (2nd) gust of wind, (3rd) call lightning.
Wizard Spells/Day (4/5/5/4/3/1; save DC 14 + spell level).
Spellbook: 0 -- arcane mark, dancing lights, daze, detect magic, detect poison, disrupt undead, flare, ghost sound, light, mage hand, mending, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic, resistance; 1st -- burning hands, change self, comprehend languages, endure elements, expeditious retreat, mage armor, magic missile, mount, ray of enfeeblement, shield, spider climb, summon monster I; 2nd -- alter self, choke^, darkvision, fog cloud, Melf's acid arrow, mirror image, misdirection, protection from arrows, rope trick, see invisibility, summon monster II, web; 3rd -- analyze portal**, clairaudience/clairvoyance, dispel magic, fireball, flame arrow, fly, halt undead, haste, major image, phantom steed, protection from elements, summon monster III, tongues; 4th -- cold orb^, dimension door, Evard's black tentacles, fire stride**, ice storm, improved invisibility, Leomund's secure shelter, minor creation, minor globe of invulnerability, polymorph other, summon monster IV, thunderlance**; 5th -- dismissal, ghostform^, Leomund's secret chest, permanency, summon monster V, teleport.
Possessions: Quarterstaff, light crossbow, 10 bolts, gloves of dexterity +4, bracers of armor +6, boots of speed, pearl of power (3rd level), ring of protection +2.
*Feat from Defenders of the Faith.
** Spells from Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.
^ Spells from Tome and Blood. He tends to prepare enlarged magic missile and fireball spells.
How to Incorporate the Imperial Portal Into Your Champaign
- The characters are hired by the rulers of Mulhorand to cause unrest in Thay and are sent through the portal to meet with Anuk-Ibin.
- The characters are helping some escaped slaves and bring them to the ruined city of Delhumide. There, they may or may not have a run-in with Anuk-Ibin, and they might find the portal. Whether the escaped slaves are better off in Mulhorand or Thay is something they get to find out.
- The characters are sponsored by some tharch or zulkir in Thay to explore the ruined city and search for an artifact left from the time when Mulhorand ruled the land. There could be many dangers in the ruins and the dungeon levels below. They may not even find the portal, but if they make the wrong denizen angry, they might need a quick exit.